The friends I lost along the way

I’ve lived a lot of my life on the internet. I’ve found friends, discovered jobs, and I even met my last girlfriend on Tumblr. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive influence my life, and I’m a better person for the time I’ve spent on the Internet. Today the majority of my friends are people I originally got to know online, and in many cases we’ve since met in person.

As my social life has moved from being partially to being completely on the Internet, I’ve been thinking about the Internet friends I no longer see.

Some of us drifted apart. We talked for a while, shared a joke and a laugh, and when we ran out of things to say, we fell out of each others lives. One of us clicked the “unfollow” button, and the connection was severed.

Some of them were on sites that no longer exist. We knew each other exclusively by our screen names, and when the site shut down, we lost any way to stay in touch.

Some of them deleted their accounts. They left a site, and all that remains are a series of dead links. LiveJournal was once a thriving community, and now it’s a ghost town. It surely won’t be the last.

Some of them left the Internet entirely. They haven’t logged on in years, their email address is long since abandoned, and I have no way to contact them. But I can’t bring myself to click “unfriend”, in case one day they return.

And some of them have actually passed on. Their online presence stands as a slowly crumbling memorial to the person they once were.

Losing touch with friends isn’t exclusive to the Internet – I also have school friends who I haven’t spoken to in a decade or more – but the Internet makes the absence more prominent. I see broken links where a person used to be, and it makes me a little bit sad.

These are people who were a huge part of my life, and they shaped the person I am today. I miss them all. I hope life has been kind to them, and maybe one day, our paths will cross again.